Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Guest Blogger: Heart Healthy Foods by Tammy Mahan

Everyone should include heart healthy foods in their diet. If you start feeding your children foods that are good for their hearts at an early age, chances are they will continue to eat them through adulthood.

Not only do heart healthy foods keep the cardiovascular system running in tip top shape, it also lowers the risk of obesity which has become an epidemic in both children and adults in the last decade.

As you get older, it is even more important to take better care of your heart. When many people hear heart healthy foods they automatically imagine a plate of full of food they dislike. That is not always the case as there are plenty of delicious foods that are great for your heart that you already love to eat. The only difference is you do not know that they are good for your heart.

Prevention is the best medicine. It is never too late to start eating a heart healthy diet. No one wants to be forced to start a healthy diet after they have been diagnosed with a cardiovascular disease or after they have had a heart attack that could have claimed their life. Therefore, why not start that healthy heart diet now? This will allow your children, and spouse to follow your lead.

Let us look at some heart healthy foods:

• Oatmeal – A perfect start to your day! In place of sugar, add a few of your favorite berries to sweeten it up. Oatmeal is loaded with omega 3 fatty acids, which have been proven to increase heart health and lower triglycerides. Omega 3 fatty acids are also known to reduce heart arrhythmias. It also lowers the risk of a second heart attack and a stroke.

• Flaxseed – Ground flaxseed is great! You can put it in almost any food including cereal, salads, smoothies, scrambled eggs, and pancakes, the list is endless. Ground flaxseed is fiber and omega 3 fatty acids.

• Blueberries – A sweet delicious fruit that you can eat alone, add to cereal, yogurt, cookies, muffins, pancakes, smoothies, and lots of other foods. Blueberries are high in calcium, magnesium, fiber, vitamin C, potassium, Beta-carotene and lutein, and ellagic acid. All of which are known to keep your heart healthy!

• Dark Chocolate – Who doesn’t love chocolate? If you can limit your chocolate to one small piece a day, you will be doing your heart and your waistline a favor while still enjoying a nice treat. Dark chocolate contains flavonoids and reservatrol, which are both good for your heart and can lower your blood pressure.

• Cantaloupe – A cantaloupe is great for a snack, breakfast, or added to lunch or dinner. It is high in fiber, vitamin B-complex, Vitamin C, folate, potassium, Alpha- and beta-carotene and lutein. A great tasting fruit that is good for your heart!

• Broccoli – Not a real popular vegetable with children but it can be ground up and easily hidden in foods. Broccoli is rich in Beta-carotene, fiber, potassium, folate, vitamin C, vitamin E, and calcium.

These are just a few of the heart healthy foods you can eat every day to make sure your heart is in good health. It is never too early or too late to start protecting your heart.

Tammy Mahan is a medical and health writer who lives in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains of New York with her Husband. Writing for allows her to share her medical knowledge with others.

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